As with the normal workplace, the employer has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure employee safety and health and to provide an environment free from harassment and discrimination. Inappropriate behaviour at staff functions, which can be attributed to “good cheer” which often accompany these social events, can lead to employers being held liable.
We recently had a client pose the question “Can we monitor an employee’s emails and what are the privacy concerns?” In researching the answer we came to the conclusion that the law is very confusing, with no one committing absolutely clearly what an employer’s obligations are. However, we offer a practical solution to the issue.
Irrespective of their size, companies have a wide range of policies and procedures in place that their workers need to be aware of – which is why a staff handbook can prove useful. Comprehensive and easy-to-understand employee handbooks should detail employment policies and procedures, clearly articulating your business’s expectations of employee behaviour and performance in their roles.